We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
John Paul Jones: Sailor, Hero, Father of the American Navy | [Evan Thomas]

John Paul Jones: Sailor, Hero, Father of the American Navy

John Paul Jones is more than a great sea story. Jones is a character for the ages. John Adams called him the "most ambitious and intriguing officer in the American Navy." The renewed interest in the Founding Fathers reminds us of the great men who made this country, but John Paul Jones teaches us that it took fighters as well as thinkers, men driven by dreams of personal glory as well as high-minded principle to break free of the past and start a new world. Jones' spirit was classically American.
Regular Price:$31.49
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

John Paul Jones, at sea and in the heat of battle, was the great American hero of the Age of Sail. He was to history what Patrick O'Brian's Jack Aubrey and C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower are to fiction. Ruthless, indomitable, clever; he vowed to sail, as he put it, "in harm's way."

John Paul Jones is more than a great sea story. Jones is a character for the ages. John Adams called him the "most ambitious and intriguing officer in the American Navy." The renewed interest in the Founding Fathers reminds us of the great men who made this country, but John Paul Jones teaches us that it took fighters as well as thinkers, men driven by dreams of personal glory as well as high-minded principle to break free of the past and start a new world. Jones' spirit was classically American. Evan Thomas brings his skills as a biographer to this complex, protean figure whose life and rise are both thrilling as a tale of dauntless courage and revealing about the birth of a nation.

©2003 Evan Thomas; (P)2003 Tantor Media, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Superlative....Both Jones and his latest biographer can justly be praised as masters of their respective crafts." (Publishers Weekly)
"Evan Thomas captures all the incongruities, vanities, blazing ambition, and phenomenal courage of his subject." (David McCullough, author of John Adams)
"With the skill appropriate to a polished journalist, Thomas chronicles the short, but glorious, life of a brilliant, but frustratingly difficult, man, who was the first American naval hero....This is a fine account of the life of an admirable, but deeply flawed, man." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (84 )
5 star
 (19)
4 star
 (36)
3 star
 (20)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (4)
Overall
3.8 (28 )
5 star
 (7)
4 star
 (11)
3 star
 (7)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (0)
Story
3.8 (29 )
5 star
 (8)
4 star
 (13)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Bruce Gresham, OR, USA 03-16-04
    Bruce Gresham, OR, USA 03-16-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Swashbuckler or Saviour"

    I enjoy reading history, both non-fiction and historical novels. While I am not in a position to question the accuracy of the biography presented by Evan Thomas, I believe he has taken on the task well and shown many sides of the life and times of John Paul Jones. JPJ is one of those characters in our past whom we tend to remember only by the few sounds bites which become imfamous. The rest being mostly captured in our vague imaginations. This book helped immensely to put the father of the American navy into perspective for me. Even more so by the outstanding narrations which were intoned with fluent and believable accents and personalities. I enjoyed the read, a bit long towards the end, but recommended to anyone who enjoys historical biographies.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Peinhardt 01-23-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Enlightening Text, Horrible Narrator"

    The text itself is paints a pretty solid picture of John Paul Jones but while the narrator's normal voice is pretty good, he keeps wrecking it every time he attempts to do a different accent for quotes. He makes a Scottish John Paul Jones sound almost Spanish and every quote is read with a forced lilt and awkward emphases. I found myself dreading the next quote so much that it distracted from the author's words.

    If you're looking for a good naval history here on Audible, skip this and check out these instead:

    Storm and Conquest (by Stephen Taylor), Empire of Blue Water (by Stephan Talty), and Empires of the Sea, by (Roger Crowley)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicholas Tampa, FL, USA 10-04-08
    Nicholas Tampa, FL, USA 10-04-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Great book... HORRIBLE narrator..."

    I’m sure this book in the print version is wonderful, so I cast absolutely no dispersions on the author…

    BUT, whoever found the narrator should have made sure that their reader actually knew how to pronounce fairly commonplace nautical terms, in what is after all a nautical biography.

    An example: The “forecastle” should NEVER be pronounced “fore-castle”; it is pronounced, “Foc-sil”. I know, I know, it makes no sense when applied to normal, everyday speech; but this is not everyday speech, this is sailor-talk which has a vocabulary and pronunciation all its own.

    I have purchased well over 400 audio-books via this site, and have enjoyed the vast majority. This is the first time I have ever stopped listening to an audio-selection and deleted it from my file library. This mispronunciation of terms begins to grate almost immediately, and I warn any sailor or mariner who listens to this audio-book, it get’s so consuming that you might have to stop listening.

    So be warned.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David West Newton, MA, USA 07-15-05
    David West Newton, MA, USA 07-15-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    125
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    59
    46
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Very Interesting Read"

    Well written book about an American hero who was far more complex than what we all learned in high school textbooks. The author does a nice job of pointing out the positives and flaws with Jones. While another review enjoyed the accents of the narrator - that was the one downside to my listen -- it got old after awhile.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    susan 06-20-14
    susan 06-20-14 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Horrible Narration"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Anyone who doesn't mind listening to a narrator who insists on doing every quote with a hideous accent. The book is filled with numerous quotes by Jones.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    It is an historical account of John Paul Jones life. I guess it would be John Paul Jones.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narrator constantly used a horrible accent that drifted from a really bad Irish accent into an American accent. He was trying to do a Scottish accent because Jones was from Scotland. His forced rolling of his Rs was painful to listen to. He would have been better off not doing any accent at all. I find it hard to even finish this well written book. It has been a nauseating experience. Why didn't someone stop Dan Cashman from this performance? Who was the production exec in charge of this fiasco? Cashman owes the author a sincere apology.


    What character would you cut from John Paul Jones?

    The narrator Dan Cashman


    Any additional comments?

    The only reason I gave the performance 1 star is because I couldn't give it a MINUS star!! The narrator ruined a perfectly good book. I have listened to audible for quite awhile and this is the first time I have been truly disgusted.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George 01-19-14
    George 01-19-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    244
    194
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Self Serving"

    The summary is correct: the description of Jones' engagement on USS Bonhomme Richard with HMS Serapis was indeed engaging. However, the minutiae of Jones' incessant, prigish, whining about his career must have gotten on the nerves of Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, etc. A self described naval strategist, he had many opinions which he freely shared with members of Congress or anyone who would listen. I had a hard time with this book because it droned on about relationships with count-this and duke-that. It took me months to finish listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward E McKenna 11-28-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Local "baern" does good."

    While the naration is well (including various accents to distinguish the important players in Jones' life), the major problem is Jones himself. While there is little that can be said, or done, to diminish the single most important (and incredible) action that made Jones famous (exceptionally retold in this biography), it's the years following that make the story so disappointing.
    Alas, such is true, on some level or another, in all our lives, I'm afraid.
    Still, it is a good, and important, "read", especially when balancing his life's thread by the actions of other important "players" during the "War of Independence."
    Overall, I don't think you will be disappointed with this purchase.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joplin Jim 06-30-10
    Joplin Jim 06-30-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    "Very poor narration"

    The story was fractured and lacked the depth I expected. The narration was atrocious. The narrator made numerous attempts at a Scottish accent throughout his narration. It is unthinkable that a narrator who cannot correctly pronounce Culloden would be successful using a Scottish accent. My wife is Scottish and I know a Scottish accent and he didn't pull it off. His excessive use of a Scottish accent is distracting to say the least. The Audible sample is real cute, Dan Cushman with a rare portion of the book where he doesn't attempt a Scottish accent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Patterson 10-01-05 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    120
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    77
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    2
    Overall
    "A few good insights outweighed by poor editing"

    Evan Thomas put a lot of research into "John Paul Jones" and the book offers some good insights into the man's character. Unfortunately, he continues to offer them over and over again. Also, he seems a bit blas? about Paul Jones' admission regarding events behind the scandal that brought about Paul Jones' downfall in Russia. Thomas doesn't condone the act, but doesn't incorporate it into his assessment of his subject's character. (I talk around the point to avoid spoiling anyone's listen.)

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dale Atlantic Beach, FL, United States 01-20-05
    Dale Atlantic Beach, FL, United States 01-20-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Good book, terrible narration"

    This is an interesting biography of John Paul Jones, but it is nearly ruined by the narrator. He mangles English pronunciation, not to mention the French (which would be more forgivable). In attempting to give Jones a Scottish accent, he produces a very bad American version of an Irish accent. Buy the book and read it; but don't subject yourself to this particular audio.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 12 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.